Wedged between India and Afghanistan, Pakistan is the second-largest nation in the Islamic world, and is situated in what is currently one of the most volatile regions on earth. It has assumed a commanding role in militant Islam, a frightening portent being its creation of Afghanistan's bizarre fundamentalist student militia, the Taliban; and with some fifteen private Islamist armies and at least twenty nuclear weapons, it is considered to be one of the most terrifying places in the world. Its disintegration would pose an unthinkable threat to the United States and the West, and the man who will determine Pakistan's future course is the little-known, enigmatic General Pervez Musharraf.
Mary Anne Weaver presents her personal journey through a country in turmoil, reconstructing, largely in the voices of the key participants themselves--Generals Musharraf and Zia, and Benazir Bhutto--the legacies now haunting Pakistan in the aftermath of the U.S.-sponsored jihad of the 1980s in Afghanistan. Fusing geopolitical choices with a vivid portrait of a land--of its people, its mystery, and its clans--"Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan," provides an essential background for those seeking to understand the problems the international community now faces, and poses some deeply disturbing questions about the future of conflict in South Asia.
Mary Anne Weaver, a foreign correspondent for "The New Yorker," is also the author of "A Portrait of Egypt: A Journey Through the World of Militant Islam." An Alicia Patterson Fellow for 2001, she and her husband divide their time between New York City and Santa Monica.
Few nations are more critical to United States foreign policy than Pakistan. Wedged between India and Afghanistan, it is the second-largest country in the Islamic world, and is situated in one of the world's most volatile regions. It has also assumed a commanding role in militant Islam--a frightening portent being its embrace of Afghanistan's bizarre fundamentalist student militia, the Taliban. With a dozen or so private Islamist armies and some thirty to fifty nuclear weapons, its disintegration would pose an unthinkable threat to the United States and the 'West, but the man who will determine Pakistan's future course is the little-known and enigmatic General Pervez Musharraf.
In "Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan," Mary Anne Weaver elucidates a country in turmoil through two decades of eyewitness reporting and unparalleled access to Pakistan's presidents, prime ministers, generals, and politicians. Here are rare and revealing portraits of General Musharraf, who rose through the ranks to become Benazir Bhutto's Chief of Military Operations and then assumed control in a historic military coup; of General Zia, who launched Pakistan on its present militant Islamist course while at the same time transforming it into the hub of U.S. policy on the Indian subcontinent; and of Benazir Bhutto herself--charismatic, imperious, conflicted, commanding, and the first woman prime minister of an Islamic country.
Weaver provides an essential background for those seeking to understand Pakistan and the problems confronting the international community, and poses some deeply disturbing questions about the future of conflict in South Asia. "Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan" stands as a testament to an enormously complex nation.
"Clear-eyed reporting and graceful prose in a highly readable--and sobering--work of political geography for policymakers and anyone concerned by the risks of an uncertain future . . . Weaver talks to fundamentalists and secularists alike, exploring the rifts that obtain among progressives and those who have nearly succeeded in turning Pakistan into a theocracy along the lines of Iran or Taliban-era Afghanistan, stymied only by a military dictatorship as corrupt as any in the world."--"Kirkus Reviews"
"A reporter for "The New Yorker," Ms. Weaver has spent much of the last two decades roaming the Islamic world, and her book shows the fruits of those journeys. "Pakistan" is a valuable and information-rich [portrait] of a poor and deeply divided country that, she says, could very well become the next of the world's failed states . . . Ms. Weaver's book is full of acute observation, telling detail, and clear insight. Given that Pakistan, as it faces its uncertain future, is going to become more important, not less, we can be thankful that Ms. Weaver has been paying attention."--Richard Bernstein, "The New York Times"
"Weaver's beautifully written reportage goes a long way toward explaining how Pakistan has emerged as the epicenter of terrorism and how Kashmir has become, as Clinton said in 2000, the 'most dangerous place in the world.' "Pakistan" is a brilliant portrait of a troubled country, vivid and frightening . . . Weaver brings to life the fragile and dangerous contradiction that is Pakistan, from the sandy vastness of Balochistan to the stark hills and dusty bazaars of the Northwest frontier. 'You're a Sindhi, a Baloch, a Punjabi, a Pathan. Pakistan's binding force has always been Islam, ' Pakistan's late president Zia ul-Haq told her. 'Without it Pakistan would fall.'"--Nayan Chandha, director of publications at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, and former editor of the "Far Eastern Economic Review," in "The Washington Post"
"Weaver tacks anecdotes from her travels to Pakistan together with her post-September 11 reflections on Osama bin Laden, his crowd, and American policy, so as to lightly sketch a country over-shadowed by 'jihad and Afghanistan.' Her book asks the big questions but it does not really try to address them; instead it contains stories based on her dispatches for "The New Yorker" of 'irascible chiefs' and Arab falconry, old news of Benazir Bhutto, and much conversation with retired generals and 'top' advisers."--Mahnaz Ispahani, "The New Republic"
"Weaver focuses on the interplay between Pakistani politics and society . . . The debility of Pakistan's institutions and its failure to modernize politically is vividly portrayed . . . Her portrait of Pakistan provides carefully crafted glimpses of its many pathologies."--Sumit Ganguly, University of Texas at Austin, "Foreign Affairs "
"Perceptive . . . Weaver has drawn on her superb skills as an evocative journalist to write a book that, by telling stories and describing scenes, gives a sense of Pakistani life that no amount of dry analysis could convey. She is literally a fireside storyteller . . . Those who are even remotely interested in Pakistan's coming crisis should read [this book]."--Ahmed Rashid, "The New York Review of Books"
"Drawing on 20 years of reporting excursions in Pakistan and Afghanistan for "The New Yorker "and other publications, Weaver leads us on an illuminating journey that spans lawless tribal territory and presidential palaces alike. What we see when we look through her lens is a Pakistan more deeply troubled, more closely tied to the Taliban, and more rife with anti-American sentiment than anyone would like to admit . . . Some of the information Weaver chooses in forming her narrative is perhaps common knowledge among people familiar with the region, but she fits the pieces together in a way that makes the greater puzzle far more thought-provoking and comprehensive."--Ilene R. Prusher, "The Christian Science Monitor"
The Contemporary Middle East: With Special Contributions by Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. and Shibley Telhami (A Westview Reader)
"As Michael Klare makes clear in this powerful book, the heads of our corporate empires have decided to rip apart the planet in one last burst of profiteering. If you want to understand the next decade, I fear you better read this book."---Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth
The world is facing an unprecedented crisis of resource depletion---a crisis that encompasses shortages of oil and coal, copper and cobalt, water and arable land. With all of the Earth's accessible areas already being exploited, the desperate hunt for supplies has now reached the final frontiers. The Race for What's Left takes us from the Arctic to war zones to deep ocean floors, from a Russian submarine planting the country's flag under the North Pole to the large-scale buying up of African farmland by Saudi Arabia and other food-scarce nations. With resource extraction growing more difficult, the environmental risks are becoming increasingly severe---and the intense search for dwindling supplies is igniting new conflicts and territorial disputes. The only way out, Michael T. Klare argues, is to alter our consumption patterns altogether, a crucial task that will be the greatest challenge of the coming century.
"This is a brilliant and hardheaded book. It will frighten those who prefer not to dwell on the unthinkable and infuriate those who have taken refuge in stereotypes and moral attitudinizing."--Gordon A. Craig, New York Times Book Review
From Michael Klare, the renowned expert on natural resource issues, an invaluable account of a new and dangerous global competition
The world is facing an unprecedented crisis of resource depletion a crisis that goes beyond "peak oil" to encompass shortages of coal and uranium, copper and lithium, water and arable land. With all of the planet's easily accessible resource deposits rapidly approaching exhaustion, the desperate hunt for supplies has become a frenzy of extreme exploration, as governments and corporations rush to stake their claim in areas previously considered too dangerous and remote. "The Race for What's Left" takes us from the Arctic to war zones to deep ocean floors, from a Russian submarine planting the country's flag on the North Pole seabed to the large-scale buying up of African farmland by Saudi Arabia, China, and other food-importing nations.
As Klare explains, this invasion of the final frontiers carries grave consequences. With resource extraction growing more complex, the environmental risks are becoming increasingly severe; the "Deepwater Horizon" disaster is only a preview of the dangers to come. At the same time, the intense search for dwindling supplies is igniting new border disputes, raising the likelihood of military confrontation. Inevitably, if the scouring of the globe continues on its present path, many key resources that modern industry relies upon will disappear completely. The only way out, Klare argues, is to alter our consumption patterns altogether a crucial task that will be the greatest challenge of the coming century."
Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East
Novelistic and character-driven, Black Wave is an unprecedented and ambitious examination of how the modern Middle East unraveled and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979.
Kim Ghattas seamlessly weaves together history, geopolitics, and culture to deliver a gripping read of the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fueled by American policy.
With vivid story-telling, extensive historical research and on-the-ground reporting, Ghattas dispels accepted truths about a region she calls home. She explores how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, once allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region, became mortal enemies after 1979. She shows how they used and distorted religion in a competition that went well beyond geopolitics. Feeding intolerance, suppressing cultural expression, and encouraging sectarian violence from Egypt to Pakistan, the war for cultural supremacy led to Iran's fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, the assassination of countless intellectuals, the birth of groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the rise of ISIS.
Ghattas introduces us to a riveting cast of characters whose lives were upended by the geopolitical drama over four decades: from the Pakistani television anchor who defied her country's dictator, to the Egyptian novelist thrown in jail for indecent writings all the way to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Black Wave is both an intimate and sweeping history of the region and will significantly alter perceptions of the Middle East.
Rogues' Gallery: Who Qualifies?
Crisis in the Balkans
East Timor Retrospective
Cuba and the US Government: David vs. Goliath
Putting on the Pressure: Latin America
"Recovering Rights": A Crooked Path
The United States and the "Challenge of Universality"
The Legacy of War
Power in the Domestic Arena
An Excerpt from "Rogue States" by Noam Chomsky
The concept of "rogue state" plays a pre-eminent role today in policy planning and analysis.
The current Iraq crisis is only the latest example. Washington and London declared Iraq a "rogue state," a threat to its neighbors and to the entire world, an "outlaw nation" led by a reincarnation of Hitler who must be contained by the guardians of world order, the United States and its British "junior partner," to adopt the term ruefully employed by the British foreign office half a century ago. The concept merits a close look.
A secret 1995 study of the Strategic Command, which is responsible for the strategic nuclear arsenal, outlines the basic thinking. Released through the Freedom of Information Act, the study, "Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence," "shows how the United States shifted its deterrent strategy from the defunct Soviet Union to so-called rogue states such as Iraq, Libya, Cuba and North Korea," AP reports. The study advocates that the US exploit its nuclear arsenal to portray itself as "irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked." That "should be a part of the national persona we project to all adversaries," in particular the "rogue states." "It hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed," let alone committed to such silliness as international law and treaty obligations. "The fact that some elements" of the US government "may appear to be potentially 'out of control' can be beneficial to creating and reinforcing fears and doubts within the minds of an adversary's decision makers." The report resurrects Nixon's "madman theory": our enemies should recognize that we are crazed and unpredictable, with extraordin
In this provocative study, economist Ernesto Screpanti argues that imperialism--far from disappearing or mutating into a benign "globalization"--has in fact entered a new phase, which he terms "global imperialism." This is a phase defined by multinational firms cut loose from the nation-state framework and free to chase profits over the entire surface of the globe. No longer dependent on nation-states for building a political consensus that accommodates capital accumulation, these firms seek to bend governments to their will and destroy barriers to the free movement of capital. And while military force continues to play an important role in imperial strategy, it is the discipline of the global market that keeps workers in check by pitting them against each other no matter what their national origin. This is a world in which the so-called "labor aristocracies" of the rich nations are demolished, the power of states to enforce checks on capital is sapped, and global firms are free to pursue their monomaniacal quest for profits unfettered by national allegiance.
Screpanti delves into the inner workings of global imperialism, explaining how it is different from past forms of imperialism, how the global distribution of wages is changing, and why multinational firms have strained to break free of national markets. He sees global imperialism as a developing process, one with no certain outcome. But one thing is clear: when economic crises become opportunities to discipline workers, and when economic policies are imposed through increasingly authoritarian measures, the vision of a democratic and humane world is what is ultimately at stake.
"If you want to catch up on some of the best articles written about globalisation since the topic became fashionable several years ago, this reader is the place to start." --The Economist
A blue ribbon collection of major articles and position papers on the concept of globalization. By bringing together a number of major thinkers and different perspectives, this book provides a broad introduction to the topic and lays the groundwork for an interdisciplinary collaborative dialogue. Contributors include Kofi Annan, Benjamin Barber, Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington, Robert Kaplan, Paul Kennedy, Walter Lacqueur, Bill McKibben, Lester Thurow, and Jeffrey Sachs.
Wall Street's Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014
The Council on Foreign Relations is the most influential foreign-policy think tank in the United States, claiming among its members a high percentage of government officials, media figures, and establishment elite. For decades it kept a low profile even while it shaped policy, advised presidents, and helped shore up U.S. hegemony following the Second World War. In 1977, Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter published the first in-depth study of the CFR, Imperial Brain Trust, an explosive work that traced the activities and influence of the CFR from its origins in the 1920s through the Cold War.
Now, Laurence H. Shoup returns with this long-awaited sequel, which brings the story up to date. Wall Street's Think Tank follows the CFR from the 1970s through the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to the present. It explains how members responded to rapid changes in the world scene: globalization, the rise of China, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the launch of a "War on Terror," among other major developments. Shoup argues that the CFR now operates in an era of "Neoliberal Geopolitics," a worldwide paradigm that its members helped to establish and that reflects the interests of the U.S. ruling class, but is not without challengers. Wall Street's Think Tank is an essential guide to understanding the Council on Foreign Relations and the shadow it casts over recent history and current events.
Catholic Herald Book Awards 2019 Finalist, Current Affairs
"Auzanneau has created a towering telling of a dark and dangerous addiction."--Nature
The story of oil is one of hubris, fortune, betrayal, and destruction. It is the story of a resource that has been undeniably central to the creation of our modern culture, and ever-present during the darkest exploits of empire the world over. For the past 150 years, oil has become the most essential ingredient for economic, military, and political power. And it has brought us to our present moment in which political leaders and the fossil-fuel industry consider extraordinary, and extraordinarily dangerous, policy on a world stage marked by shifting power bases.
Upending the conventional wisdom by crafting a "people's history," award-winning journalist Matthieu Auzanneau deftly traces how oil became a national and then global addiction, outlines the enormous consequences of that addiction, sheds new light on major historical and contemporary figures, and raises new questions about stories we thought we knew well: What really sparked the oil crises in the 1970s, the shift away from the gold standard at Bretton Woods, or even the financial crash of 2008? How has oil shaped the events that have defined our times: two world wars, the Cold War, the Great Depression, ongoing wars in the Middle East, the advent of neoliberalism, and the Great Recession, among them?
With brutal clarity, Oil, Power, and War exposes the heavy hand oil has had in all of our lives--and illustrates how much heavier that hand could get during the increasingly desperate race to control the last of the world's easily and cheaply extractable reserves.
Argument and Change in World Politics: Ethics, Decolonization, and Humanitarian Intervention (Cambridge Studies in International Relations)
In "How the West Was Lost," the "New York Times" bestselling author Dambisa Moyo offers a bold account of the decline of the West's economic supremacy. She examines how the West's flawed financial decisions have resulted in an economic and geopolitical seesaw that is now poised to tip in favor of the emerging world, especially China.
Amid the hype of China's rise, however, the most important story of our generation is being pushed aside: America is not just in economic decline, but on course to become the biggest welfare state in the history of the West. The real danger is a thome, Moyo claims. While some countries - such as Germany and Sweden - have deliberately engineered and financed welfare states, the United States risks turning itself into a bloated welfare state not because of ideology or a larger vision of economic justice, but out of economic desperation and short-sighted policymaking. "How the West Was Lost" reveals not only the economic myopia of the West but also the radical solutions that it needs to adopt in order to assert itself as a global economic power once again.
As a U.S.-born journalist who has called Havana home for almost a quarter century, Mark Frank has observed in person the best days of the revolution, the fall of the Soviet bloc, the great depression of the 1990s, the stepping aside of Fidel Castro, and the reforms now being devised by his brother. In Cuban Revelations, Frank offers a first-hand account of daily life in Cuba at the turn of the twenty-first century, the start of a new and dramatic epoch for islanders and the Cuban diaspora.
Examining the effects of U.S. policy toward Cuba, Frank analyzes why Cuba has entered an extraordinary, irreversible period of change and considers what the island's future holds. The enormous social engineering project taking place today under Raúl's leadership is fraught with many dangers, and Cuban Revelations follows the new leader's efforts to overcome bureaucratic resistance and the fears of a populace that stand in his way.
In addition, Frank offers a colorful chronicle of his travels across the island's many and varied provinces, sharing candid interviews with people from all walks of life. He takes the reader outside the capital to reveal how ordinary Cubans live and what they are thinking and feeling as fifty-year-old social and economic taboos are broken. He shares his honest and unbiased observations on extraordinary positive developments in social matters, like healthcare and education, as well as on the inefficiencies in the Cuban economy.
Ultimately, Cuban Revelations is an objective account by a reporter who has lived with the Cubans for many years as their old world falls apart and they set about trying to build a new one.Marc Frank is a U.S.-born journalist who has called Havana home for almost a quarter century. He has observed the best days of the revolution, the fall of the Soviet bloc, the great depression of the 1990s, the stepping aside of Fidel Castro, and the reforms now being devised by Raul. Cuban Revelations offers a first-hand account of daily life in this fascinating culture.
Though U.S. leaders try to convince the world of their success in fighting al Qaeda, one member of the U.S. intelligence community would like to inform the public that we are, in fact, losing the war on terror. Further, until U.S. leaders recognize the errant path they have irresponsibly chosen, he says, our enemies will only grow stronger.
According to the author Michael Scheuer, the greatest danger for Americans confronting the Islamist threat is to believe--at the urging of U.S. leaders--that Muslims attack us for what we are and what we think rather than for what we do. Blustering political rhetoric "informs" the public that the Islamists are offended by the Western world's democratic freedoms, civil liberties, inter-mingling of genders, and separation of church and state. However, although aspects of the modern world may offend conservative Muslims, no Islamist leader has fomented jihad to destroy participatory democracy, for example, the national association of credit unions, or coed universities. Instead, a growing segment of the Islamic world strenuously disapproves of specific U.S. policies and their attendant military, political, and economic implications.
Capitalizing on growing anti-U.S. animosity, Osama bin Laden's genius lies not simply in calling for jihad, but in articulating a consistent and convincing case that Islam is under attack by America. Al Qaeda's public statements condemn America's protection of corrupt Muslim regimes, unqualified support for Israel, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a further litany of real-world grievances. Bin Laden's supporters thus identify their problem and believe their solution lies in war. Scheuer contends they will go to any length, not to destroy our secular, democratic way of life, but to deter what they view as specific attacks on their lands, their communities, and their religion. Unless U.S. leaders recognize this fact and adjust their policies abroad accordingly, even moderate Muslims will join the bin Laden camp.